Is Customer Effort an appropriate measure to consider as a customer metric for businesses that are committed to developing a customer-centric organisation? Does it deliver financial benefits to those that invest in it?
The answer to both questions is yes; but only once its role as a performance measurement tool is understood in the context of other key customer experience measures.
In a business environment where simplified marketing metrics have the strongest appeal in the boardroom, the Customer Effort Score (CES) follows Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a desirable way to quickly understand if the organisation is delivering on the customer experience. However, there is no silver bullet; simplified metrics do not tell the whole story, and decision makers may ignore the blindspots at their peril. This is true of NPS and is also the case with CES.
One of the key oversights organisations face when applying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is that the customer metrics chosen to measure performance end up defining the customer experience strategy embarked upon. This paper explains Customer Effort and how it applies to service delivery in organisations, its role in the constellation of customer metrics, and generally how to ensure customer experience metrics are enablers of the business strategy rather than an end in themselves.
Customer Effort tends to only apply to customer interactions and not to the whole customer experience, leading to a raft of reasons why a Customer Effort Score may not be appropriate as the only customer experience measure on which to rely. Rather, Customer Effort is a concept, and measurement of this element of the experience supports other business outcome measures. If CES is used, it should be seen as complementary to core metrics like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and NPS, but by itself it is not the answer to effective management of the entire customer experience.
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